We have all heard of Baidu and the hold that the Chinese search engine has on one of the largest potential markets in the world. Google’s Chinese experience has probably done more to advance Baidu than Google itself. Well, it’s a big world out there with another large market opportunity for search in Russia and the former Soviet states that end in ‘stan’. Whether Google will have trouble there is yet to be seen but there are developments on the search front from that part of the world as Russian search engine Yandex announces its global launch.
In its announcement (Russian language), Yandex calls this an “alpha service” and the “beginning of a long journey.” In this English-language news release, the company says it’s been indexing foreign web sites and adding the content to its search engine for the past two years.
Good opportunity to use Google Translate on the Russian release, huh?
So what’s this mean for the rest of us? Too early to tell but apparently Yandex is doing a nice job out of the gate. I used it to do some basic searches on myself because I figured if there is information in there about me then they are going pretty deep into the web already ;-). Honestly, the results were pretty decent as compared to the results I am accustomed to from the big three (Google, Yahoo, bing).
Several people have chimed in saying that this engine has some age on it and is a serious player, which is taking on Google and gaining market share. Others give kudos to relatively spam free results for some high spam keywords that, you can guess, are the ‘gold standard’ of spam phrases (Viagra).
Of course depending on the products you sell and whether Russia and its cousins are viable markets for your products will play a role in just how much this news impacts anyone. While Russia doesn’t appear to have the same censorship concerns that China does it will be interesting to watch as the battle between Google and engines like Yandex heats up for supremacy in another large global market.
Any time an American company does business elsewhere in the world (essentially outside of English language cultures) there is always some backlash that must be dealt with over time.
Any ideas on what the potential speed bumps and roadblocks could be in the race Russian search market share?